38. Yep in 12 days and roughly 5 hours I will be 38. My odd years (When my age is odd, not when I am odd. See I know what you are thinking.) have somehow always been my best. However, 2015 took its toll on me personally. I am not sure how you feel about 2015; I hope it was good to you, but most people I run into had a heck of a year even on a small scale. Don’t get me wrong I am a glass half full person, and my family and I are truly blessed, but this year had hiccup after hiccup. I am grateful for the hiccups for sure and I focused on the positives; that is where my lessons are coming from, but if you noticed I wrote a lot less this year. The reason for that was every time I sat down to write I wanted to vent about how much things stunk or how bad I felt this year about well; everything. Don’t worry I am not going to do that now, but what I am hoping for, for each and every one of us is a wonderful 2016.
Here are my lessons to close out 2015…
1.Get off the sidelines.
At my daughter’s 9th birthday I noticed that a lot of the girls started out shy and sat on the sidelines. We had it at one of those make over places, but they also have a stage and microphones. Once my daughter was finished with her make over she threw on a boa and got right up on that stage and sang her little heart out. Some of the other girls followed her lead; those girls had a blast at the party. What she taught me is that you need to jump right in with both feet and live. There is no living done on the sidelines; nope. You have to go for it. So in 2016 I am all in baby…are you with me? Except for sky diving you can go do that yourself because seriously what sane person jumps out of a perfectly good airplane?!
2. Great people do things before they are ready.
I think Amy Poehler and I would be the best of friends. Seriously if you know Amy you should have her call me; we would be BFFAEs (Best Friends Forever and Ever)! Seriously, I am not in the least bit kidding; if you know her call her I totally want to meet her.
Any way after reading Yes Please (yes you should take the time and read it for 2016 if you haven’t) and binge watching Parks and Recreation in my spare time I think she is my own personal guru. Two things I have learned from her and Ron Swanson are:
- Great people do things before they are ready – seriously you can’t plan out the future. Life is bumpy and unexpected crap jumps out at you every single second (not really, but you get what I mean) and you just have to go after your dreams. If you don’t start now then when?
- Also my personal favorite, “don’t half ass two things; whole ass one thing.” That is my favorite line from Parks and Recreation to date. There is even a mug and if you don’t know what to get me for my birthday get me that – don’t worry about duplicates either if I had a whole stinking set of those I would literally be the richest person in the world and Amy Poehler would be super impressed when I got them to pour our Vodka and Cranberry Cocktails into when she came over. You thought they were for coffee didn’t you…so silly mugs can be used for everything. A good friend told me just about a whole bottle of wine fits into one of the travel Starbucks mugs in case you need to know that for your next Trick-or-treating excursion. Just saying. Plus they would totally go with my Duck Dynasty bobbleheads.
3. Even if things seem sucky they are totally worth it.
So our Newport Beach Thanksgiving Vacation was a bit crazy. For starters we parked our car with the valet at dinner on one of the first nights there and they lost our keys. Then within a day the norovirus (more affectionately named Kim-O-Rea after patient zero) ran through 19 of the 23 of us. But despite the lost keys and vomit we had a pretty good time. We took bike rides, played on the beach, spent time playing games, had Thanksgiving dinner on the beach, saw a movie and went bowling. And the cousin time with the kids was priceless. So even though we may have stayed in the worst rental ever (on the inside – it was filthy) the time we spent together and the memories we made were totally worth it. Plus I got this awesome picture of me with Zach; win win! Or as Zach says…BOOM!
4. I love snow and the place I call home.
I know you are wondering how I love snow is a lesson. Well just keep reading and you will see.
Our family made a trip to Salt Lake City for my grandmother’s memorial services and it snowed. Arriving there and seeing all the sites is so relaxing. Even though I only lived there for 3 years; literally from 0-3, it is home to me. It is the one place in the world that actually feels like I belong 100%. I love just about everything about it. I know that the snow made travel a bit hard and it was really cold, but I can’t help thinking my grandma knew how much I loved the snow; how much I loved home blanketed in snow and she made sure that it was covered in it just in time for us to be there. This made me realize that even if there isn’t always someone to go home to that maybe just the place needs to be visited to sooth your soul to feel that welcoming feeling. So I guess that means that you need to find that place that feels like home and visit it if you aren’t already there. See that is kind of lesson worthy.
5. Find your happy.
Find your happy – whatever it might be. Maybe it’s a person; like these two pictured here. They are blissfully happy when they are together. Or maybe it’s a good cup of coffee or maybe it is a long hike. Whatever it is find it and make sure it becomes a part of your life on a regular basis. Life is hard and you need to make time for what makes you happy.
6. Keep going…
Sometimes you are your own worst enemy or at least I am. I want to be healthier and I want to be able to run 9 miles again. I will do that in 2016, but I know it will be one of the hardest things that I do to accomplish that again. I had to put all my focus and energy into it when I did it last time and this time I am busier and somehow more exhausted, but I must keep going. In 2015 the farthest I got was 5 miles and 20 pounds heavier. 2016 is going to be different. I hope you go after what you want in 2016, too. And I hope no matter how hard it might be that you achieve it.
7. Little things…
Mother Theresa said do small things with great love. I have mentioned her before, I know. She is kind of a big deal. Any way I put that into action three years ago with the 25 days of Holiday Cheer and then adding to that by doing 36 random acts of kindness for my birthday and then the next year Fluttering for Unravel. So I took a trip down my Facebook feed (that is what memory lane is these days) and saw that most of what I do these days is small things with great love. I cannot tell you how much that helps me. See I am human and I mess up; rather a lot really. But doing things for others in small steps and sharing that with others has changed my life in such a drastic way. This is something that will continue through 2016 and if you have an idea about how to help others – go for it because amazing things happen.
8. You get old.
Holy Freaking Fruitloops kids put the fast forward button on your life. I cannot believe I have been a mom for over a decade and that my 20 year high school reunion is in 2016. That math doesn’t compute with how I feel, but that doesn’t change the fact that you get old. I have decided instead of being bummed about getting old I am going to enjoy it. I am going to love each day and what it brings. Of course crappy things happen when you age and there is more death than you ever wanted to face ever, but there are cool things, too. Like watching your kids become grown people and getting to stay up as late as you want and being able to drink alcohol in a mug that says “whole ass one thing” if that isn’t icing on the freaking age cake I don’t know what is.
9. Marriage matters.
So as my husband was calmly putting together a doll house this Christmas Eve (yes that doll house above had more pieces than you can imagine) and we spent until 1:30 AM putting the final touches on Christmas; it really hit home what a good team we are. My husband, yes I know I have talked about him before as well, is just pretty amazing. He helps around the house, he is a hands on dad, and he works so hard to provide for our family. But we are a team and marriage is hard work. We went out a couple times just the two of us this year (I know I had a post about date night once a month-it didn’t happen) and we are still best friends. Yes of course at first the kids dominate the conversation, but we have found that our marriage is the key foundation to our family and it needs work to make sure that the family stays sturdy. In 2016 I am going to make sure I let him know how important he is and how much I appreciate all he does for us. And more importantly, I am going to make sure I let him know how awesome I am and that together we are like the Dream Team. Too much? Okay, well you get the idea.
10. Being a twin mom…
I get it, I do…they are stinking cute and tons of fun. They also can cause quite a ruckus and I have blamed a lot of my failing memory, lack of sleep, disorganized ball dropping behavior on being a twin mom. And in 2016 that will not change. Having 4 kids is enough to drive one woman bat shit crazy. I love them dearly and I wouldn’t want my life any other way, but it is totally their fault that I am a completely different human than I was 10 years ago. It is completely their fault that I am losing my mind, but it is also completely their fault that I am a way better human than I was a decade ago. It is completely their fault, all four of them, that I know and understand a love that can’t be explained with words. I understand what it means to be selfless because of them. So even though I blame them 100% I also thank them 100% for all that they have done to help me become who I am today.
I wish you and yours a blessed and prosperous 2016.
Amy Poehler’s BFFaE